Black Hawks win four straight

16 years ago

The Houlton-Hodgdon Black Hawks picked up four straight wins over the last two weeks to improve their record to 6-3.
On Saturday, the team made the long trip to Kennebec Ice Arena in Augusta to take on the Win-Dale Ice Dogs. They came away with a convincing 9-1 win. The Black Hawks were led by Mike Epley’s three straight goals and one assist. Picking up other goals in the game were Ashir Abouleish, Craig Buxton, defenseman Zach Chase, Chris McGuire, Morgan Hall and freshman Ben Ward, who landed his first varsity goal. Assists in the game went to Ian Gervais and  Buxton with two. Picking up singletons were Elliot Mooers, Lowell Matthews, Jake Peabody, Dylan Gard, C. McGuire and Ward. Goaltender Malik Abouleish had 12 saves on 13 shots to pick up the win.
    Last Thursday, the Black Hawks picked up valuable Heal points with a 3-2 win over number-two John Bapst.
The Black Hawks never trailed in this game having leads of 2-0, 2-1 and 3-2. Buxton gave the Black Hawks a 1-0 lead in the first, with assists going to Epley and C. McGuire. The Black Hawks dominated play in the first and gave the Crusaders no shots on goal.
The second period saw the Black Hawks take a 2-0 lead on a goal by Matthews, who took the puck on a faceoff and beat the Bapst goalie. The visitors pulled within one at 2-1 to end the period.
Epley potted what proved to be the game-winner at the 9:33 mark of the third on a beautiful outlet pass from Z. Chase. Chase sent Epley in alone on the Bapst goalie and he buried his scoring chance for a 3-1 lead. The visitors pulled within one at 3-2 with just over five minutes left in the game, but despite having a 6-4 advantage at the end, couldn’t come up with the tying goal. Houlton-Hodgdon net minder Abouleish had 20 saves.
Houlton-Hodgdon came up with a 5-2 win over Hampden at Sawyer Arena in Bangor on Jan. 8 on the special teams play, as they picked up three power-play and one short-handed goals. The Black Hawks took a 1-0 lead after one on a power play goal by Buxton, with the assist going to Epley. They made it 2-0 when C. McGuire potted an unassisted short-handed goal at the nine- minute mark of the second.
After Hampden made it 2-1 to end the second the locals pulled away to 5-1 with goals going to McGuire, Hall and Epley. Assists on these goals went to Epley, Z. Chase, McGuire, Buxton and Logan Holmes. Black Hawk goaltender Levi Ledger had 11 saves in the contest.
The string of wins started with Abouleish’s first varsity shutout during a 9-0 win over Orono. Abouleish was a perfect 31 for 31 in saves to earn the win. Goals in this match went to Buxton with four, Hall with two and single markers by A. Abouleish, Matthews and Cody Briggs picking up his first varsity goal.
“In the last four games, the team is beginning to round into shape,” said Black Hawks Coach Joel Trickey. “The schedule this year has no easy games and the kids are learning that they have to be ready every game. It seems that the team that is best prepared to play both in strategy and in mental prep wins the contest.”
Trickey said the younger players have all contributed over the last few games and the Black Hawks are confident that everyone has a part to play in the success this season.
The Black Hawks will be tested when they play Western Maine powers Cape Elizabeth and Greely this weekend at the Millar Civic Center. Cape comes for a Friday night game at 6 p.m., and Greely faces off with the Black Hawks Saturday at noon.
“Both of these should be very entertaining games and we hope for a lot of fan support for the team,” Trickey added. “We travel to KIA in Augusta on Monday for a match against Gardiner to round out the week.”